Busting Coronavirus Myths

The Citizen recently reported on some myths surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19). It is important for all of us to stay safe, however there is no need for panic. Below, see some of the myths and corrections surrounding COVID-19.

  • The virus is not deadly for everyone. The WHO has advised that those with weakened immune systems, as well as babies and the elderly, are most at risk. If you are generally healthy, you may contract the virus, but merely experience flu-like symptoms. Of course, it is still a good idea, in the middle of this epidemic, to have yourself checked out by a medical professional.
  • Taking antibiotics won’t help because 2019-nCoV is a virus. Antibiotics are only useful against bacterial infections, not viruses like the common cold, flu, and COVID-19. By taking antibiotics when you don’t need to, you are contributing towards antibiotic resistance, one of the biggest threats to global health.
  • Wearing a mask only offers limited protection. As soon as the mask is moist (for example, from breathing or sneezing), it needs to be changed. You can’t use the same face mask for multiple days.
  • Rubbing sesame oil or petroleum jelly on your nose will also not reduce your risk of infection.
  • Eating garlic, which does contain some antimicrobial properties, offers no protection.
  • Saline solutions and mouthwash are a good way to clean out sinuses, but they won’t protect you against the virus.
  • Vaccines against other respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia, do not protect you against COVID-19, which is a brand new virus. Scientists are trying to develop a vaccine against COVID-19.
  • There is no evidence that pets can be infected by the coronavirus, but always wash your hands after petting or playing with your dog or cat to protect against other germs.
  • It’s still safe to receive letters or packages from China as the virus doesn’t survive long on objects.
  • It’s still safe to fly, so long as you take precautions,  like wearing masks, washing your hands (and/or using an alcohol-based sanitizer), and avoiding close proximity with sick individuals.

To track the spread of the virus online, visit this website, created by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.


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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Hush Naidoo [1], [2].